Why invest in En Primeur wine?
En Primeur is the French wine trade term for wine future. It’s the method of buying wine while it’s
still in the barrel rather than after it has been bottled.
The system dates back to the 18th century when Bordeaux merchants visited the local or regional
wine estates before harvest to buy Cabernet or Merlot grapes off the vine.
What are the advantages of buying En Primeur wine?
People buy En Primeur wine for a variety of reasons. Here are a few:
• If you’re on the consumer end, buyers are rewarded for early payment. Wine can cost on average 10%-30% less as En Primeur compared to already packaged.
• Out of emotional attachment. Only certain wines can be purchased En Primeur. Therefore if there’s one in particular you wish to own before it sells out, purchasing early on when it’s in the En Primeur form is a good way to make sure you get your hands on it.
• To build a rare vintage collection. As we discovered above purchasing En Primeur wine is a way to get your hands on the wine you want. Purchasing En Primeur doesn’t need to be only for investment purposes. If you’re a wine collector this might be an option for you also.
How does the En Primeur system work?
This is the system you’ll typically find in Bordeaux or Rhône.
1. En Primeur tasting
At the start of spring, chateaux in France start to organise an En Primeur week. This includes tastings of young barrel samples, wine critics then assign ratings to each, and the scores reflect the expected quality of the wines once bottled.
2. Sale to merchants
The chateaux release a portion of their product at an opening En Primeur price.
3. Offer to buyers
The merchants send offers to their customers with tasting notes of these En Primeur wines.
4. Purchasing the wines
Some offers will be accepted. This is at least a year before the chateaux has released the wine to the market.
Within 2-3 years of buying En Primeur the wine will be bottled and shipped by the chateaux to bonded warehouses to the buyer’s country. The merchants then deliver them or sell them on your behalf.
How to approach buying En Primeur?
It’s important to make calculated purchases to be in with a chance of getting the best return on your investment. This is particularly important if you’re purchasing En Primeur wine to resell or invest in. Even if you’re purchasing it just for yourself, it’s important you make the right choice. That’s why we suggest employing the help of someone like Vintage Associates to help you on your En Primeur
Cheaper for the consumer
Buyers of En Primeur wine are rewarded for this early payment. En Primeur wine tends to cost 10- 30% less than packaged wine. Many customers purchase En Primeur wine as an investment to make a healthier return. Also, if you’re wanting to secure stocks for sought-after wines as early as possible, purchasing En Primeur is an option many pursue.
As wines reach maturity and are drunk, supply decreases just as demand hopefully increases. For example, between 2001 and 2006, 1982 Lafite increased in value by 123%. Few investments offer a similar return. Profits from wine are free of Capital Gains Tax because wine is classified as a “wasting chattel”. The 2005 vintage proved that the En Primeur system can work for consumers as prices have
since risen dramatically.